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Transcript of politics 1450-1750
Moreover the development of existing trade routes (The Indian Ocean trade), and the creation of new trade routes (Europe's direct trade with the Indians) catalyzed the process of semi-globalization to a further extent.
It is important, however, to see beyond merely the tangible goods that were exchanged between the various nations present during this period of time. A trend towards globalization meant that contacts between nations would become more numerous, and numerous contacts between foreign countries meant that nations would begin to influence each other, often politically.
Our group seeks to analyze such influences, particularly European influences, on different nations during this period of time and how such different nations uniquely reacted to external stimulus. Our group firmly believes that the comprehension of such influences and how nations reacted differently to them not only provides the reader with basic information about the tendencies and characteristics of the different states, it also provides a deeper understanding of world history and current events as a whole.
On a precautionary note, it is essential to realize that our timeline does not necessarily support a Euro centric view of the world. The fact that it was the Europeans who circumnavigated the globe during the Pre-modern era, coming into contact with a number of different nations ,make them the ideal focus point of our prezi, not because we believe that Europeans had a definite advantage over other nations racially or geographically. Introduction Same Crossroads, Different Paths Make All the Difference The European Catalyst Meet the Mita The Conquest of Latin America 1492 C.E. - 1750 C.E. Subordination Extraction Colonization Fueled by the unification of Castile and Aragon into a single centralized Spanish empire, Spain was able to fund Columbus' campaigns to the Americas, which initiated the beginning of European contact with the Latin Americans. It was the islands of the Caribbeans that first fell victim to the voracious appetite of the Spaniards. The Spaniards, utilizing gunpowder and steel arms were able to conquer the indigenous population, the Tainos, and establish their first ever New World colony. However rapid depopulation due to the spread of contagious epidemics such as small pox and influenza considerably lowered the value of such Caribbean colonies. Spain began to eye the Latin American mainland as their new pathway to prosperity.
Before the Spanish colonists initially arrived in Latin America, the politically centralized Inca Empire and the Aztec Empire were thriving in both military and economic power. The Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire, both practiced tributary political systems, with the capital in charge of administration, religion, and the overall economy. Other "tributary" areas were able to maintain relative independency if they paid their annual tributes to the political center of the empire and participated in government enforced labor drafts. Such centralization served as a a key disadvantage when waging war with the Spaniards. In fact, instead of the densely populated centralized empires of the Incas and Aztecs, it was the nomadic tribes who dealt the biggest damage to Spanish armies. Centralization has two clear disadvantages, one being that centralized empires have high population densities, the other being that the structure of the empire is rigid and inflexible. High population densities resulted in high mortality rates among the natives due to widespread epidemics, while the rigidity of the empire made it hard for the Incas and the Aztecs to cope with Spanish military attacks. Once the ruler of their kingdom was captured or killed, the entire empire came to a halt. An Independent Africa Africa's Slave Trade and Independence 1500 C.E. - 1750 C.E. & The military conquest of the conquistadors Ottomans: Drunk on the Past Meet the Centralized Powers of Africa... ...and how they maintained their INDEPENDENCE Overconfidence and Conservatism 1453 C.E. - 1750 C.E. The Middle Kingdom: Ming China After the destruction of centralized Native American Empires in South America, the continent was vulnerable to colonization. Although surly the Latin Americans did not willingly give up their grasp over their homeland, a variety of different factors accumulated and resulted in the complete subordination of Latin America.
The warriors of both the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire no doubt both fought with zeal and a sense of duty like most soldiers do in the wake of a foreign invasion. However, the Spaniards usage of internal divisions and rivalries within the empire, Spain's superior military technology, and Spanish epidemics laid waste to Native American armies.
It also hurt that while Latin Americans first considered the Europeans as "Gods" because of their different physical features, the Europeans considered the Latin Americans as mere barbarians who they had the right to conquer. When the Latin Americans realized the dirty ambitions of the Spanish it was too late; the Spanish Conquest had begun.
The Spaniards, after their initial conquest of the indigenous population began to set up a regulated bureaucratic system that resembled Spain's traditional political system with a few necessary adaptations. It was a political system that focused on a judicial core. Large number of Letraos (lawyers educated in Spain) became the new administrative and judicial force in the new colonies of Spain. Because distinctions between the three branches of the government had not been introduced yet, judicial officers usually made laws and policies as well as enforcing them too. As silver became the global currency of the early modern period by Europe, especially Spain, China was greatly influenced by the New World silver. Silver increased the economic growth in Asia that China began to replace paper money and require silver for purchases of products. Also, the Ming dynasty required the citizens to pay tax in silver periodically. Changes in Tax Payment
and Silver Dominance Russian Empire One reason for such an emphasis on the judicial core was probably because in order to smoothly facilitate a colony far away from the influence of the mothership, it is imperative to have definitie laws that clearly show what to do and what not to do. Furthermore, laws could be used to control the Native population with ease, by justifying the European's actions.
From the 16th century onward, the Spanish crown gave power to two viceroyalties in Mexico and Lima, while appointing viceroys, direct representatives of the Spanish crown, to administer the colonies. The viceroyalties were then divided into 10 judicial divisions, each controlled by a supreme court (audiencias) staffed by professional royal magistrates that made the law and enforced it. Expansion... Connection to SPICE (Economics) Utilizing the judicial bureaucratic system to create definite laws and to enforce such laws with legitimacy, the Spanish crown established a strong foundation for colonization.
This strong foundation served as the basis for the creation and successful enforcement of coerced labor systems such as the Encomienda, the Mita, and the Hacienda.
Although before the inital conquest of Latin America by the Europeans, the Native American empires were thriving and developing unique sophisticated systems of governance, contact with the Europeans changed everything.
The Latin American mainland and the tropical islands nearby it not only became a political colony, it also became an economic colony. With the usage of coerced labor systems, Europeans extracted commercial crops and silver. Latin America had become a complete subordinate, contrasting with the African nations in that sense. The Westernization had a huge impact on Russian Empire that its political system was strongly influenced. The military hierarchy was specified by bureaucratic departments as well as the first Russian navy was created with improved weaponry by Western advisers. The new set of advisers changed by Peter I has extended the systematized law through the whole empire and increased the tax payment of peasants for financial support on new training institutes.Foreign policy of Russian Empire supported the expansion over regions. They fought with Sweden, at the time one of the leading northern powers in Europe, and expanded their territory on the eastern cost of the Baltic Sea, and became the powerful military state. They also opened their window on the sea, including a largely ice-free port. At that time, Russia became a major factor in Europe diplomatic and military alignments. 1462 C.E. - 1785 C.E. 1450 C.E. - 1644 C.E. The State of Asante (Ashanti) The State of Dahomey The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power was impressive, if not the most impressive empire in Eurasia during the 17th century. Africans selling Africans to Europeans for Guns Russian Empire's expansion over the decades. Usage of silver during the Ming Dynasty The Mita System Encomienda System "Those Hairy Barbarians" Expansion and Selective Westernization Japan: No West is The Best! Self-Isolation from the Outside World 1580 C.E. - 1750 C.E. Because we learn that during the pre-modern era, the enslavement of Africans by Europeans became increasingly common, it is easy to get the misconception that Europe dominated the Africans during this period of time. This is entirely not true. Not only was it the centralized African states themselves who willingly participated in the sale of African slaves to the European traders, African countries remained largely independent from the Europeans, unlike the unfortunate Native Americans of Latin America. Although there were some instances in which European influence was very strong, like when the state of Kongo was greatly impacted by Portuguese advisers and missionaries, even then African nations never lost their sovereignty. Portugal and Kongo exchanged ambassadors with a certain equality. The Portuguese never treated the state of Kongo as a subordinate colony. While their counterparts in Latin America were suffering under harsh coerced labor systems and extractive colonial policies, the African states remained independent of outside political control. Their relationships with Europe were strictly commercial due to the military and political strength of strong, centralized governments.
Although the Portuguese, during the early 1400s, initially assaulted small coastal villages in search for valuables and slaves, they quickly realized that such raids were a costly and an insecure way of earning money. Tropical diseases, extreme weather, and strong African states stopped the Portuguese from advancing too far inland. The Portuguese were limited to the coastal areas in terms of military power so it was highly unprofitable for the Portuguese to raid small villages. Realizing that the African states were willing to participate in the enslavement of other Africans, the Portuguese wisely switched plans. Instead of militarily trying to obtain slaves by causing conflicts with strong African nations, the Portuguese maintained smooth diplomatic relationships with such centralized forces while establishing trade routes that became fundamental to the expansion of the Atlantic slave trade. The Kingdoms of Asante and Dahomey are perfect examples of how Africa reacted to European contact during the pre-modern era. As emphasized repeatedly throughout this passage, the Africans were never politically inferior to the Europeans. Although the Europeans enslaved thousands of Africans during this period, it is important to realize that the Europeans obtained such slaves through trade, not by force or by extraction. The centralized African states and the Europeans maintained a give-and-take relationship with the Europeans giving the African countries firearms and other weaponry and the African countries giving the Europeans their slave labor. The Kingdom of Asante was able to solidify itself as a regional power after eradicating clan divisions and attacking neighboring villages with its much improved military for more slaves. The Kingdom of Dahomey also followed a similar cycle by trading slaves for firearms and using the firearms to get more slaves. Although the slave trade did indeed destroy not only the personal lives of the African slaves but the continent of Africa as a whole, due to the profits earned through the slave trade, centralized African states were able to develop unique political and social structures that paralleled the rise of absolutism in Europe. Centralization through the slave trade induced the creation and development of a bureaucratic system, the strengthening of the military, and the sophistication of culture. Despite the infamous legacy of the slave trade, it is false to argue that there was not a single benefit of the slave trade for the Africans. Connection to Spice (Interaction) Connection to Spice (Social) It is not even the smallest bit of exaggeration to say that the Atlantic Slave Trade was one of the largest forced migrations that we've ever seen in history. Modern historians estimate about 12 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic. If the number 12 million does not seem real to you, imagine the entire population of Chosun (which had a population of about 12.5 million during the pre-modern era) shipped to a foreign place far far away. The Political centralization of the African states and the European thirst for cheap labor catalyzed this huge event. Glory of the Ottomans The Ottoman empire at the height of its power, was a force to be reckoned with. Not only did the Ottomans control the Mediterranean trading routes as if the Mediterranean Sea was their personal lake, it served as the middle man between India and Europe. The Ottomans boasted a strong centralized government with talented officials selected through merits and skills, not through bribes and personal relationships. Their sophisticated administrative system was fortified by a strong army lead by a special infantry force called the Janissaries who held considerable political and military power in the Ottoman Empire. Using its decisive geographic position, the Ottomans quickly rose in both political and economic power, become one of the most dominant empires in the Middle East during the 16th century. Gifted Sultans, such as Suleiman the Magnificent, boasted their political power in the form of architecture. The Ottomans built massive mega-buildings decorated by elaborate designs. The Suleymaniye mosque, built in 1550, is an epitome of Ottoman prosperity. It is one of the largest domes structures in the world. Its sheer size struck awe in the mind of Europeans who visited the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Suleiman also promoted the usage of bazaars filled with the latest goods from all over the world. Ivory from Africa met with timber from Russia and the spices of the Indies met with the carpets of Persia. Economic prosperity added with political/military might made the Ottoman Empire the dominant regional power. Eastern Europeans eyed their Islamic neighbor with cautious eyes, concerned about a possible Ottoman military campaign against the European mainland. .It seemed as if nothing could stop the Ottoman Empire. Russian Empire was also one of the empires influenced by westernization. Russians developed their military systems and expanded their territory using the ideas of the West without being damaged or losing their identities. Russian Empire was rather the one that created their own characteristics with the established contact with Europe. Then...This Happened A map showing the Portuguese traveler Vasco De Gama's voyage to India. On May 20, 1498, A Portuguese explorer with the name of Vasco de Gama arrived in the Indian city of Calicut. This was a revolutionary moment for not only Portugal, but for Europe as a whole. After decades of reckless adventurers failing to reach India, this was officially the first time a European was able to reach India through sea. Although it took some time to develop, the Europeans were able to create a groundbreaking trading route that directly connected Europe to India. So why was this a major turning point for the Ottoman Empire. How was a single Portuguese travler and his small fleet of four ships impact the Ottoman Turks to a greater extent than any other military force present during that time? Well it was important because the Ottoman Empire could no longer have the luxury of being the middleman anymore. They were no longer the facilitators of the trade between Europe and India. Trading profits decreased dramatically and the Ottoman Empire's economy took a big blow. Connection to SPICE (Economics) Overconfidence and Conservatism:
The two poisons that plague the Empire Why did the seemingly invincible Ottoman Empire meet a steady, slow, and painful decline? Well our group believes it's because of a combination of various factors. First, the Ottoman Empire was too drunk on past glory that it forgot how to progress. Innovations became noticeably dull during the later ages of the Ottoman Empire, partly because the bureaucratic system became corrupt with bribes and complacency, but also because the Ottoman Turks simply forgot how to look forward. Their great mosques were still standing, the city of Constantinople was still prosperous, and their territory remained large. There seemed nothing wrong with the empire...at least that's how it looked like.
It is our group's personal belief that the Ottoman Turks became increasingly arrogant and overconfident about their abilities from the past while the world was rapidly changing around them. While the bureaucratic system was going corrupt, the economic system becoming inefficient, and political conflicts between claimants to the throne increased, no noticeable reforms were made to revive the empire from total collapse. A number of scholars, such as Abu Taleb and Mehmed Pasha realized that the Ottoman Empire was declining. However individual efforts were too small of an impact to reverse the fate of a massive empire. While Abu Taleb emphasized that the Ottomans should start taking the Europeans seriously, Taleb's fellow Muslims were indifferent to his travel reports about the culture/politics/and economy of Europe. Although Mehmed Pasha asked the Sultan and his army of bureacrats to make the military, the administrative force, and the economy more efficient, the Sultans were busy concentrating on power struggles between different political groups.
Conservatives like the Janissaries blocked revolutionary military technologies from entering the country in fear of losing their political power. The viziers, who began to exercise great power in the political struggles between potential heirs, and the corrupt bureaucracy were more interested in their personal benefits than choosing a Sultan who would actually lead the nation to prosperity. Such Conservatism also negatively affected the Ottoman Empire While the Europeans grew in power and in influence, the Ottomans merely watched them grow with indifference. While the Europeans surpassed them in science, technology, and military power, although a minority of the Ottomans realized that something was very wrong, no significant reforms were made to restore their past glory. Although during the 17th century, a few able sultans took temporary measures to block the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman decline had already progressed too far. Economics is one of the most crucial factors that decide the rise and fall of vast empires that rely exclusively on trade. Therefore it was a great mistake for the Ottoman Empire's administrative bureaucracy to simply watch their commerical power erode away as the Europeans developed a direct trade route to India. Had the political figures of the Ottoman Empire concentrated their attention to the rapid rise of the European states and realized that such a rapid rise was sparked by a direct trading route between India and Europe, the Ottoman Empire could have existed for a prolonged period of time. But sadly overconfidence, conservatism, and the inability to regulate the state's economy eventually laid waste to this grand Muslim empire.
The contact with Europe allowed Russian Empire to imitate the West selectively that improved their strategy with new military technologies and new organizational forms. Peter I, the emperor of Russian Empire, led the first westernization by copying the Western military organization and created stronger fighting force that put down local soldiers. Furthermore, they set up a secret police to prevent any rebellion or resistance and to supervise the bureaucracy. At this point, Russian Empire developed their power as much as an earlier Chinese innovation, but went well beyond the bureaucratic control impulses of the West. This is a map of our world. But it's not just any map; it's a map that shows the amount of electricity being used for each region. You can clearly see that there are major inequalities that exist between nations. What accounts for such differences?
There is no definite answer to this problem. Many historians, sociologists, and economists have presented a variety of theories to explain why our world is as it is today. Some people say geography and the environment is the main culprit. Others say cultural differences. Still others say such inequalities result from political and economic structures.
Having finished our PREZI on the politics of various nations during the pre-modern age, we arrived with a conclusion on why the world is as it is. We believe that it's actually a mixture of all the factors mentioned above. More specifically, we believe a nation's response and reaction to a critical juncture is the deciding fate of that nation's prosperity or fall in the future. But why do certain nations react differently from other nations? That's when the factors mentioned above become important. Our group believes that a mixture of geographic/environmental factors, cultural factors, economic/political strucutral factors, plus a little bit of luck all affect the decision of a certain nation to react in some kind of way to a critical juncture. In the pre-modern era, our group decided the critical juncture was Europe's contact with and influence on various nations. That's why, we believe, that because of differences in the geography/culture/environment/political and economic strucutres of Africa and Japan, there was a difference in the way that reacted to a critical juncture. Subsequently, the way that both nations reacted to the various critical junctures after the pre-modern era, defined the fate of these nations today.
We sincerely hope that this PREZI has provided the reader with an insight that will last for a long time. Connection to Spice (Culture) We Love Nobunaga! And then Hideyoshi came... And Then It Got Worse... Oda Nobunaga who, with some limits, supported Europeanization Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Nobunaga's successor who began to resist Western influence Although we usually view the Japanese as active participants of Westernization due to their incredible growth during the 19th century onward, in the pre-modern era, the Japanese were actually quite conservative. Although initially, during the reign of Oda Nobunaga, a skilled military warrior who rose in political power after deposing the Ashikaga Shoguns, the Japanese government participated in selective westernization, this was only temporary. During Nobunaga's reign, Christian missionaries were free to work on their conversions of the peasantry and the ruling class consisting of daimyos and samurais. Because Nobunaga viewed the Christians as a way to assault the militant Buddhist orders resisting his rise to power, he actively advocated Christian missionary activities. Nobunaga also accepted traders who brought the latest Western devices such as clocks, firearms, and printing presses. Nobunaga traded for such goods with silver, copper, pottery, and laquerware. It seemed as if as long as Nobunaga remained in power, the Europeans would be able to continuously influence the Japanese mainland. The established contact with the West created a distinctive characteristic of Russian culture as the traditional values emerged to the Renaissance style. For instance, Italian artists and architects designed church buildings and royal palace, producing the ornate, onion-shaped domes that became a part of the Renaissance classicism. Also, Catherine the Great had supported the Western-style art and architecture to be emerged with their own traditional art. The changes in Russian culture had eventually made a positive image of Russian empire accepting new values and creating benefits of it. The cultural changes has showed the power and intelligence to the foreign empires, which eventually supported the expansion of Russia. Connection to Spice (Economy) Economic changes on metallurgical and mining industries has developed state-run munitions and shipbuilding facilities, which led to economic growth by a large commercial class. It helped to maintain the military presence by financial support. Portuguese traders arriving at a Japanese port. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, famous in Korea for his two invasions, was a skilled warrior, tactician, and diplomat. He also happened to be a good isolationist. Hideyoshi began to undo what his predecessor had achieved slowly, one-by-one. Although Hideyoshi did not actively show his hostility for Western forces, wasn't as cooperative to the missionary enterprise and Nobunaga was. After receiving reports that some Christian converts refused to obey their lord's commands, scared at the thought of a massive social uprising lead by the converts, Hideyoshi began to view Christianity with negativity. Such negative view of Western influence only got worse as rumors about the Europeans militarily invading and conquering Japan began to circulate around the nation. Hideyoshi, who of all people knew the military might of the Europeans, did not take this rumor lightly and began to take measures to eradicate Western influence over Japan before it was too late.
From the late 1580's, isolationism officially began. Hideyoshi first asked the Christian missionaries to leave the island. When that failed to get rid of the Europeans, Hideyoshi began to actively persecute Christians During Japan's era of isolationism, only the port of Nagasaki was open to European traders. Silver tax payment eventually made the gap between rich and poor wider since the poor couldn't easy find the amount of silver needed to pay their taxes. However... The Christian teachings and Western thinking grabbed the Chinese scholars’ interest as the West were also interested in the scientific knowledge and technical skills of Ming Dynasty. However, despite the effort of the West, most court officials in Ming dynasty treated the strangers strictly with wariness because they considered the Europeans as “barbarians.” The strange look on large noses and hairy faces made the European contact limited with Ming dynasty. With its advanced weaponry, innovations, strong military power and centralized government, China blocked the Europeans to avoid a closer contact with them to prevent any danger. The strong military force of Ming dynasty had restricted the influence of Europe. A painting of Jesuit scholars, Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall, in Ming China for a further observation of advanced skills of China. Things didn't get any better for the Europeans after Hideyoshi's death. His successor, Ieyasu was even more extreme in his belief of isolationism Ieyasu officially banned the religion of Christianity in 1614 while European missionaries who continued to spread the faith underground were hunted down and killed. Converts were threatened to renounce their faith. Those who refused such measures were brutally tortured and executed. Some Christians rose against the ruling power and participated in rebellions, but such revolts had no significant results. Christianity became an underground faith with few converts practicing it in isolated communities due to the active isolationist policies implemented by Hideyoshi and his successors. After Christianity, it was traders that became the target of attack. All Japanese ships were forbidden from trading with Europeans and sailing overseas after the 1630s. Only the port of Nagasaki was opened to accept a very limited flow of imports from the Dutch and the Chinese. Furthermore, the import of Western books was banned in order to prevent the creation of potential Christian converts. After the mid-17th century, Japan had completed its isolationist policies. The Japanese were able to autonomously develop their intellectual and cultural ideas with little or no foreign influence. Russian Empire was also one of the empire influenced by westernization. Russians developed their military systems and expanded their territory using the ideas of the west without being damaged or losing their identities. Russian Empire was rather the one that created their own characteristics with the established contact with Europe Japan was increasingly influenced by the cultural aspects, specifically the religious aspects of Westernization before Hideyoshi and his successors put an end to such activity. Due to the increasing cultural influence of Christianity, the Japanese ruling power felt a sense of emergency as the peasantry increasingly sought to rebel against their overlords. Although Japan was successfully able to block the cultural domination of Christianity in its nation through political power, the widespread conversion to Christianity shows how infectious a certain cultural idea such as religion can be and the massive consequences it can result in. Connection to SPICE (Culture)